My annoyance with Chrome's cut and paste support under X

May 4, 2016

In the past I've vaguely alluded to having problems getting xterm and Chrome to play nicely together for selecting text in xterm and pasting it into Chrome (eg here). At the time I couldn't clearly reproduce my problems, so I wrote it off as due to fallible memory. Well, my memory may be fallible but I also wasn't wrong about Chrome not playing nice with xterm's normal selections. It definitely happens and it's one of the real irritations with using Chrome for me.

Certainly, sometimes I can select text in xterm and paste it into a HTML form field in Chrome with the middle mouse button. But not always. I'm not sure if it most frequently happens with the fields involved in login forms, or if that's just my most common use of moving text from xterm to Chrome. Of course, being unable to paste a complex random password is very irritating. As a result, I basically always resort to my way of making xterm do real Copy and Paste; this is longer, but so far it's always worked.

(Instead of 'select, move mouse over, paste with middle mouse button', it is now 'select, hit Ctrl-Shift-C, move mouse over, use right mouse button to bring up Chrome field menu, select Paste'. I could save a bit of time by remembering that Ctrl-V is paste in Chrome, but it doesn't yet quite seem worth doing that.)

Now that I look this seems to be a known issue, based on Chromium bug #68886. That's been open since 2011, so I doubt things are going to change any time soon. I guess maybe I should memorize Ctrl-V.

(I know, this sounds petty. But sometimes it's the little things that really get under my skin and rob me of confidence in a program. If I don't understand when and why Chrome is not accepting text I'm trying to paste in from xterm, what other unpleasant things are lurking in its behavior that I just haven't stumbled into yet because I don't (yet) use it enough?)

Written on 04 May 2016.
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Last modified: Wed May 4 23:53:11 2016
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